Cholsey (St. Mary)

CHOLSEY (St. Mary), a parish, in the union and parliamentary borough of Wallingford, hundred of Reading, though locally in the hundred of Moreton, county of Berks, 3 miles (S. W.) from Wallingford; containing 1191 inhabitants. This place was distinguished for its monastery, founded in 986, by Ethelred, as an atonement for the murder of his brother, Edward the Martyr, and which, together with the village, was destroyed by the Danes in 1006. The manor belonged to the abbots of Reading, who had a splendid seat here, which was granted in 1555 to Sir Francis Englefield, and afterwards conveyed by the crown to William Knollys, Viscount Wallingford, subsequently created Earl of Banbury: the great barn, which measured 301 feet in length, 54 feet in breadth, and 51 in height, was taken down some years since, and four smaller ones were erected in its place. The parish comprises 4118a. 3r. 8p., of which 2971 acres are arable, 533 meadow, 340 common, 130 down, and 143 wood; it is intersected by the Great Western railway. The living is a vicarage, with that of Moulsford united, valued in the king's books at £18. 9. 9½., and in the patronage of the Crown; net income, £375; impropriators, the family of Minshull. The church contains some portions of Norman architecture.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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